E-prescribing: Embrace interoperability

Q. Are we the barrier to interoperability?
Monday, March 21, 2016

A. At the recent annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference, a major industry pledge was announced by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information. The wide-reaching pledge was dedicated to reaching full interoperability in health IT. Simply put, interoperability are the standards that make it possible to electronically share patient information from the EHR with other healthcare providers. 

While interoperability is delivering better patient care for pharmacy and laboratory providers, participation in health information exchange by post-acute care providers is lagging. One of the biggest barriers to true interoperability is the omission in the EHR of post-acute care documentation (including home medical equipment (HME), home health and hospice care data). 

In today’s digital environment, there is an immediate opportunity to replace the industry’s outdated paper-based methods with an electronic system that improves care coordination, drives down costs and simplifies processes. Digitizing the HME/DME ordering process allows for a closed-loop system that improves patient outcomes, decreases readmissions and creates the appropriate digital trail to detect fraud and abuse. 

The industry must embrace interoperability not in unique silos, but in a way that all parties participate.

E-prescribing for HME will take time to fully mature. We know this. As such, we can all participate and change the delivery of healthcare.

Ken Majkowski is the chief strategy officer at Stratice Healthcare. Reach him at kmajkowski@stratice.com.